Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

The Desert Fox Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The Desert Fox is a superb filmed biography of German general Erwin Rommel, concentrating on the period between his retreat from North Africa and his government-decreed death. A brilliant tactician, Rommel earns the respect not only of his own men but of the enemy. Unfortunately, Adolph Hitler (Luther Adler), laboring under the delusion that he too is a military genius, demands more of Rommel than he's able to provide. Ordered to stand his ground in Africa to the last man, Rommel realizes that it's more intelligent in the long run to retreat; this incurs Hitler's wrath, but Rommel is a war hero, and as such is virtually "untouchable". Increasingly disgusted by Hitler's behavior, Rommel joins in a plot to assassinate the Fuhrer. The attempt fails, and Rommel's complicity is discovered. He is given a choice: either face a horrible death by torture, or commit suicide, thereby saving his family and his reputation. Rommel opts for the latter; the official story given to the press is that Rommel died heroically of his war wounds. Also appearing in The Desert Fox are Jessica Tandy as Rommel's wife and Leo G. Carroll as an insufferably aristocratic Von Ruhnstedt. The film caused a critical stir in 1951 by providing a tense ten-minute dramatic sequence before the opening credits--a technique that is all but de rigueur today. The Desert Fox was based on the book by Brigadier Desmond Young, who narrates the film and appears as himself in the early scenes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

James Mason
as Erwin Rommel
Cedric Hardwicke
as Dr. Karl Strolin
Jessica Tandy
as Frau Rommel
Luther Adler
as Adolf Hitler
Everett Sloane
as Gen. Wilhelm Burgdorf
Leo G. Carroll
as Field Marshal Von Rundstedt
George Macready
as Gen. Fritz Bayerlein
Richard Boone
as Capt. Hermann Aldinger
Eduard Franz
as Col. Klaus Von Stauffenberg
Walter Kingsford
as Admiral Friedrich Ruge
John Hoyt
as Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
Richard Elmore
as Rommel's Driver in Africa
John Vosper
as Maj. Walker
Dan O'Herlihy
as Commando Captain
Victor Wood
as British medic
Lester Matthews
as British officer
Paul Cavanagh
as Col. Caesar von Hofacker
Carleton Young
as German Major
Freeman Lusk
as German surgeon
Peter Van Eyck
as German officer
William Reynolds
as Manfred Rommel
Robert Coote
as British Medical Officer
Lumsden Hare
as Doctor
Ivan Triesault
as German Major
Philip Van Zandt
Sean McClory
as Jock
Michael Rennie
as Desmond Young

Crew

Henry Hathaway
Director
Nunnally Johnson
Producer
Nunnally Johnson
Screenwriter
Norbert F. Brodin
Cinematographer
Daniele Amfitheatrof
Composer (Music Score)
James B. Clark
Editor
Lyle Wheeler
Art Director
Maurice Ransford
Art Director
Edward Stevenson
Costume Designer
Roger Heman
Sound/Sound Designer
Eugene Grossman
Sound/Sound Designer
Fred Sersen
Special Effects
Advertisement